I was choosing flights to fly back to the United States for my cousins wedding recently when an opportunity jumped out at me. I could either have a long layover in Miami (no thanks) or I could have a long layover in Bogota Colombia. I chose Bogota and my layover was for 12 hours…awesome!
Living in El Salvador, I’m exposed to a lot of latin foods…Colombian food isn’t one of them. So, when I had the chance to explore Bogota, Colombia, I was very excited to try Arepas for my first time.
I actually tried them at 3 different places, because I wanted to really know what they were all about.
It turns out, Arepas are incredibly good…if you buy them from a quality place. The first place I ordered them from, I didn’t know what to ask for. I asked for “Arepas” and the guys said… “Which kind?”, which made me feel sort of stupid. So, I just asked for beef. Success! However, I wasn’t fond of the first Arepas that they gave me. The beef had a weird consistency, the egg lacked flavor and the texture was too oily. I wasn’t impressed.
The second place I tried Arepas nailed it. The Arepas were so good that I ordered more. They were fresh, the ingredients were flavorful and the green salsa added some heat and flavor that I’ve never had before. It was like a green chili salsa, light in consistency with avocado mixed in.
Here are the three Arepas that I had at the second restaurant:
Above, there was one type of Arepa that was prepared with way too much sugar. The first/bottom one on the left. Honestly, I couldn’t finish that one because it had so much sugar in it. So, if you try Arepas, try one first to ensure you’ll like them. You always have the option to buy more or try another place.
In my opinion, it would take 3 or 4 Arepas to be filling enough for a meal. They’re similar in heartiness to Pupusas (from El Salvador). From the places that I tried Arepas, it seems that they can be prepared differently, in shape, ingredients, etc. Just watch-out for the ones that are too sweet.